No Beach for Montauk!

Published in The East Hampton Star

Dear David:

No beach for Montauk!

That would be the eventual result if Paul Giardina is elected to the Town Board and gets to implement his plan to “save” Montauk and its beaches.

Ignoring the almost universal opinion of ocean geologists and Mr. Giardina accused the Town Board making a mistake in trying to solve the Montauk erosion problem. According to Mr. Giardina, a nuclear engineer, the right plan to save Montauk’s beaches would be to erect a hard barrier covered with sand – a seawall. The virtually unanimous opinion of ocean geologists is the exact opposite. Their conclusion is that armoring a beach to fix the shoreline as Mr. Giardina suggests will result in the narrowing and eventual loss of the adjoining beach. This means that if Mr. Giardina gets to build his wall, Montauk will lose its beach.

On the other hand the Democratic candidates were in sync with the prevailing science. During the October 2 debate, where Mr. Giardina related his plan, Mr. Bragman gave a more enlightened view. Consistent with the existing science, he rejected the idea of armoring the beach, noting that it would likely result in eventual beach loss.   Instead, he recommended sand replenishment and land conservation.

His running mate, incumbent candidate Kathee Burke-Gonzalez also favored protective measures consistent with the experts’ conclusions to protect Montauk’s beaches and its businesses. She has supported the temporary permeable reinforcement of the beaches, which does not have the destructive potential inherent in the GOP’s plan.   Her long-term plan to protect Montauk’s beaches and the downtown area favors sand replenishment and the possible acquisition of land with the potential goal of rebuilding the protective dune structure lost in coastal construction done decades ago.

So, while “Save Our Beaches” might be a campaign slogan of the GOP slate, its ideas would accomplish the opposite. As Mr. Bragman said during the debate, the Town Democrats have long been recognized as more concerned with preserving our environment, and the October 2 debate underscored the point. They deserve your vote this November.


Bruce Colbath

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